"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Chair's Summary of TICAD Conference on Consolidation of Peace

[Place] Addis Ababa
[Date] February 17, 2006
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

A. Introduction

1. The TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) Conference on Consolidation of Peace took place on February 16-17, 2006, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations (UN), the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, with the aim of bringing together the experiences and lessons acquired in Africa and other regions, as well as putting forward proposals and recommendations for effective ways to promote peace consolidation in Africa. The Conference drew more than 400 participants from 73 countries, as well as from 38 international and regional organizations, and 20 civil society and non-governmental organizations.

B. Current Situation and Issues of Peace Consolidation Efforts in Africa

2. We welcome that most of the long-running conflicts in Africa are being brought to an end. This positive trend is due to Africa's own enhanced efforts to resolve and manage its conflicts, through various initiatives by the African Union (AU) and regional organizations, supported through partnerships with the international community.

3. However, roughly half of the countries that emerge from war witness the recurrence of violence. Therefore, complacency should be avoided and, together with efforts in the area of conflict prevention, we should step up our efforts to face various challenges in the peace consolidation process.

4. Peace consolidation is a complex process affecting a wide range of areas. At the same time, various components of peace processes cannot be implemented successfully on their own. Multi-faceted, integrated and coherent approaches are required from the very beginning stage when designing the policy and programs for peace consolidation.

5. Three areas of peace consolidation were reviewed in the Conference - (a) Security, (b) Political Governance and Transition, and (c) Community Reconstruction and Socio-economic Development. These three areas are closely related to each other: improved security, for instance, would promote the political process and enhance momentum for reconstruction, while sound political governance would be the key to security and reconstruction. Thus, during our discussions in the Conference we always kept in mind the need to address all these areas in a comprehensive and well-coordinated manner.

C. Avenues to Peace Consolidation in Africa

6. As the outcome of our discussions, there was a general consensus on the following points:

(a) Security

a. In the post-conflict period, the immediate priority should be to create a secure environment that allows for other key aspects of peace consolidation, such as political transition, reconciliation and reconstruction.

b. Whilst important, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants (DDR) is only one part of the overall reform to improve security in the post-conflict period. It is critical to adopt a comprehensive approach to addressing DDR, small arms and light weapons (SALW) and security sector reform (SSR).

c. National ownership and the political will of the parties concerned in this area are essential to ensure political stability and the sustainability of peace in the long-term. DDR and SALW programs should be carried out hand-in-hand with the political process, including elections.

d. Within DDR programs, particular emphasis should be placed on the effective social and economic reintegration of ex-combatants. Special care needs to be taken of child, female and disabled ex-combatants to be reintegrated into the community. In this regard, it is important to provide appropriate opportunities for education and vocational training to the youth as agents for sustainable peace and security.

e. Robust regional frameworks that address cross-border issues in the areas of SALW and DDR should be established and strengthened. Examples of such frameworks include the Nairobi Protocol on Problems of Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region and Horn of Africa, and the ECOWAS moratorium on the export and import of SALW. There should be a concerted international effort to regulate and monitor the international arms trade with Africa, as well as to strengthen its transparency and traceability.

f. Better management of natural resource exploitation would help to reduce the impact of the illegal exploitation of natural resources, which continues to fuel armed conflict in Africa.

(b) Political Governance and Transition

a. Both justice and reconciliation are necessary to rebuild solidarity and national identity among people. While both processes are complementary to each other, each post-conflict country has to determine what meets its needs, depending on its circumstances. It may be necessary to emphasize one more than the other.

b. Electoral systems and democratic institutions that promote political inclusion and good governance are the key foundation for sustainable peace. The protection and promotion of human rights contributes to facilitating reconciliation and encourages tolerance among people.

c. Experiences of African countries and other regions could serve as a useful reference to reform administrative and judicial systems as well as to promote reconciliation in post-conflict countries. Examples may include the war crime tribunals and truth and reconciliation commissions established in various countries, as well as recourse to special tribunals and the International Criminal Court.

d. African initiatives, such as NEPAD's African Peer Review Mechanism and those of the RECs, can play a positive role, while a coordinated, coherent approach by the international community is also needed.

e. The role of civil society and work of non-governmental organizations are crucial in the transitional process to ensure that people's voices are heard. In this context, the role of women has proved to be pivotal. Grassroots participation in state institutions is also necessary.

(c) Community Reconstruction and Socio-Economic Development

a. In the reconstruction of war-affected communities, it is necessary to provide basic human needs including safe water and sanitation, and to rebuild basic infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, as well as to empower local communities through capacity building and other relevant means.

b. In order to develop economic infrastructure for sustainable development, it is necessary to attract financial inflows which may include remittances by regulated migrants including Diaspora, foreign direct investment and assistance by international financial institutions, in particular, new financing instruments recently developed by the World Bank and the African Development Bank catering for specific needs of post-conflict countries and fragile states.

c. Mine clearance activities have high socio-economic returns. In this respect, it is important to integrate mine action including mine clearance, victim assistance and mine risk education in national development planning.

d. Peace agreements should be followed by peace dividends, particularly for the benefit of women, children, IDPs, returnees and vulnerable groups.

e. Community-based, small-scale projects in such areas as micro-finance or agriculture (e.g. the African Village Initiative by the Japanese government) are effective means to empower people and promote self-sustained development. They would also contribute to the reconciliation process through income generation and youth employment.

D. Conclusion and the Way Forward

7. In addition to the above-mentioned points, during our two-day-long discussions, we reaffirmed that Africa's ownership should play a central role at all levels - regional, sub-regional and local. Efforts by the AU, RECs, national governments and local NGOs should be encouraged and supported by the international community. Growing partnerships among African countries should also be further developed and strengthened.

8. We stressed that human security was the key concept, in all of its aspects, in the process of peace consolidation.

9. We recognized the importance of addressing the root causes of conflicts to prevent their recurrence: achieving a ceasefire, a peace agreement and holding national elections would be necessary but not sufficient in themselves to bring about lasting peace.

10. We shared the view that region-wide approaches were needed to tackle such issues as cross-border movements of SALW and harmonization of DDR programs.

11. We stressed that close collaboration and cooperation is necessary among PKO and other peace support missions, humanitarian and development agencies and donor countries to provide seamless assistance from humanitarian to full-scale reconstruction assistance. For the PKO activities, clean exit strategy should be established. The Peacebuilding Commission to be created in the UN should play an important role in coordination in this area.

12. We all agreed that the role of women, youth and civil society in general was critical in laying foundations for durable peace, especially in areas such as reconciliation and rehabilitation of communities.

13. Views were expressed that the international community should pay more attention to the situation in such regions as Somalia.

14. We found it important to share lessons learned from past experiences in African countries and other regions, although there is no one-size-fit-all approach, and flexible strategies and longer-term perspectives are required in addressing actual cases. Examples of past experiences could include Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda and Burundi, as well as Cambodia and Afghanistan. In this context, the possibility of South-South cooperation in the framework of TICAD would be pursued on the basis of Japan's new initiative to share Asian experiences with African countries.

15. We believe that the recommendations made in the Conference could serve as a useful reference for the activities of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, and that the ongoing efforts by the AU to establish its own framework for post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD) could also benefit from the discussions and outcomes of the Conference.

16. We are determined to implement the recommendations of this Conference in our respective spheres of responsibility, and to contribute to policy formulation for peace consolidation wherever appropriate.